karen ONE

think more, on the basis of facts

Month: November, 2012

Crime reporter: More descriptions needed in sex crime stories

HONG KONG _ Reporters should be specific when describe the actions of child sex crimes to inform readers of what happened, because the more people talk about sex abuse the less crime there will be, a crime reporter said Monday.


photo: from Sara Ganim’s personal website

News organizations usually replace words such as “rape” with some more general and vague ones in sex crime stories according to what is called the “breakfast rule”, said Sara Ganim, a young Pulitzer Prize winner. Instead of saying a 67-year-old man raped an 8-year-old girl, they would say a 67-year-old man accused of fondling an 8-year-old girl, which will possibly result in doubt and misunderstanding in readers’ head, she said.

The “breakfast rule” means editors or TV directors don’t want their audiences to be disgusted by gruesome descriptions when they have breakfast, Ganim said.

Therefore, disclaimers such as editor’s note or TV warnings are often used to prevent people from reading graphic descriptions that may lead to discomfort, said Ganim. “I think we should use a lot more. It gives you more opportunity to go further with your language with descriptions. We shouldn’t keep details out for the sake of sparing readers from anxiety or discomfort,” she said, “if there was penetration, say it.”

Ganim, 25, is one of the youngest journalists to win the Pulitzer Prize. She was the first to break the sex abuse scandal of Jerry Sandusky, a Penn State assistant football coach. She spoke with the journalism students at a Hong Kong university.

Another problem with sex crime reporting, according to Ganim, is the struggle of giving enough information but not identifying the victims. In the story of three teenage girls being raped by their father she only wrote that “the man has been accused of raping three teenagers,” but didn’t use their ages, so later they weren’t identified by their friends. However, reporters sometimes could be blamed for covering up and not telling the story if little information were provided for the sake of protection, she said.

“It’s not a easy decision and it differs every time,” she said, “my best advice is that more information is usually better than less information.”


Chinese blogger arrested for twitter joke about China’s 18th Party Congress

  1. Zhai Xiaobing’s Nov. 5 tweet said  “#SpoilerTweet #Enter-at-your-own-peril ‘Final Destination 6’ has arrived. In which the Great Hall of the People collapses all of a sudden. All 2,000 people meeting there died except for 7 of them. But afterwards, the seven die one after another in bizarre ways. Is it a game of God, or the wrath of Death? How will 18, the mysterious number, unlock the gate of Hell? Premieres globally on November the 8th to bring you an earthshaking experience!”(translated by Yaxue Cao)
  2. Stariver
    #剧透推 #慎入 死神来了6即将上映。大会堂突然倒塌,正在开会的2000多人只有7人幸免,事后却又一一离奇死亡。是上帝的游戏,还是死神的怒火,神秘数字18怎样开启地狱之门?11月8日全球院线震撼登场!
  3. His friend Liu Yanping confirmed on her twitter that Zhai was taken away by the police at 11 a.m., Nov. 6 when he was home alone and detained at 2 a.m., Nov.7.
  4. duyanpili
    RT @iamhudi:  我昨晚与星河妻子通电。6号上午11时许星河独自在家被特警抓走带至派出所,7号凌晨2点被刑拘。目前关押在密云县看守所。 @ArielttDF:@wenyunchao正在寫關於此事的報導,請問你們有沒有哪位致電過北京公安局?
  5. AP: sources including: Liu Yanping, Zhai’s friend; a Miyun county police officer; Maya Wang, a Hong Kong-based Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch
  6. Wall Street Journal: unnamed sources including: friends and police officer;
  7. BBC: more analysis and context is provided
  8. South China Morning Post
  9. A petition drafted by Wen Yunchao, Hong Kong, media professional on November 17. demanding the release of Zhai Xiaobing
  10. A Chinese blogger’s blog post
  11. Some of Zhai’s tweets translated in English by Yaxue Cao, a Chinese blogger

Big changes take time– environmental group leader interview

Gabrielle Ho, project manager of Green Sense

When Gabrielle Ho is grabbing her lunch one day, she overhears a man’s complaint. “We still rely on electric fans in autumn, then how are we gonna survive in summer?” She doesn’t argue with the man though she really wants to, but she can’t help thinking: is it really that hot to turn on the air conditioner?

Ho, 29, is the project manager of Green Sense, a non-governmental environmental organization. Among all the environment-related topics, the wise use of air conditioner is one of their major concerns.

“The electric heaters in a convenience store of the neighborhood are almost sold out because the room temperature in an office building is too cold. ” she says. “This is totally unreasonable and unnecessary. It doubles the waste.”

Green Sense, established in 2004, advocates environmental friendly practice in society and calls for public environmental consciousness through research and education. It also focuses on issues of shark saving and light pollution etc.

Recently, Ho is busy with the Lung Mei project, a controversial proposal to turn a natural beach near Tai Po into an artificial public beach by 2015. The Green Sense, together with other green groups is working hard to save the habitat of more than 200 rare marine and bird species.

Ho, like most college graduates did, found her first job at a large company. But it was not long before she quit her job. “The company is really environmental unfriendly in many ways.” Ho explains. Then she became a staff of Green Sense after her three-year voluntary work. “I’ve really given up lots of things,” says Ho, “but I just felt a sense of mission to do so.”

The geography major says she got the initiated ideas from her mother. “She collected all the plastic bags and brought them when she went to supermarket,” Ho says, “She also told me to collect the bath water and reuse it to mop the floor.”

Now it’s the eighth year since Ho has been to Green Sense. “It’s not easy,” says Ho, “We have received phone calls from angry residents, some of whom were very rude, blaming us on setting the temperature of air conditioners so high that they are sweating.” “It’s understandable because big changes take time,” she adds, “but I will persist in what I think is right. This is quite important.”